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Prime Rib vs Ribeye – What is the difference ?

There are plenty of beef cuts and types of steaks, so I am aware that sometimes it’s hard to perceive significant differences between them. Today I’d like to touch upon a pretty popular topic, to be exact I’m going to present all the differences regarding Prime Rib vs Ribeye.

In many cases, both those pieces get mistaken for one another even by experienced cooks. These are delicious pieces of steak with similar names that come from the same initial cut.

What exactly is the difference between them, then? Are both those pieces the same? Below I will take a closer look on each of them so that I can give you a conclusive answer to that question.

Prime Rib vs Ribeye

In order to understand the differences between ribeye and prime rib, we have to take a look at the basics, which is where the meat comes from and what sets it apart. For that purpose, I will move on to the individual description for each of the cut types.

Where does Prime Rib come from and what is it ?

First and foremost, I’ll start by saying that the word “Prime” in the name Prime Rib doesn’t mean USDA Prime. When buying beef, make sure what its qualification is to avoid any surprises.

Therefore, Prime Rib comes from the same part of animal as Ribeye ( the primal rib section ).

Prime Rib is cut from Rib Roast after cooking it, in most cases it includes bone which is preferred by most people, but it is possible to serve it boneless. It is the most common version of Prime Rib served at restaurants. Prime Rib may also be served as a delicious steak ( usually with bone ).

Where does Ribeye come from and what is it?

You will find plenty of similar names like Rib Eye, Ribeye or Rib Steak, but it all refers to the same cut. In practice, it is the same meat as Prime Rib ( when it comes to the origin ) but the significant difference here is the cutting method.

It is also cut from the Rib Roast but the most significant fact is cutting out the bone right before cooking. The cutout bone leaves an effect on the meat’s shape ( oval hole ) which lead to the name Ribeye.

It can also be cooked and served as a roast or cut with cooking steaks in mind.

Difference Between Prime Rib and Ribeye

What I’ve written so far indicates that both pieces come from the same beef cut. Upon a deeper analysis, though, you know already what’s the difference between Prime Rib and Ribeye. So what to choose in the end while at the store? Follow the below tips:

Price – When it comes to Ribeye, you can choose with bone or boneless ( the boneless cut usually costs slightly more ). Prime Rib will cost a little more than Ribeye, especially at a restaurant.

Steak – Ribeye will be definitely a better choice if you’re thinking about a real steak, like a grilled one. Prime Rib comes from the rib roast, which usually requires long roasting and only when it’s baked you can cut prime rib steaks.

Cooking Style and Time – Ribeye is the winner here as well when it comes to the cooking time of a steak for example ( only few minutes on a grill ). When it comes to the prime rib roast, on the other hand, the situation is slightly different, you need to think about roasting the whole rib roast, which takes more time.

In conclusion, Prime Rib and Ribeye come from the same part of cow, but they differ in the cutting method. The Ribeye is characterized by smaller cut that is better for quick steaks, whereas the prime rib roast is a much bigger piece that requires much more time.

Either way, I hope that now you understand the difference and the fact that both steaks are equally delicious.

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